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TIFF18 BRIEFS: ‘Non-Fiction’, ‘American Woman’, ‘The Front Runner’, ‘Red Joan’, ‘Vita & Virginia’, ‘Destroyer’

From the Toronto International Film Festival By Ray Bennett ‘Non-Fiction’ Juliette Binoche is a delight among a very pleasing cast of smooth and nuanced French players in Olivier Assayas’s comedy ‘Non-Fiction’, a shrewd and witty roundelay involving a handful of … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Peter Farrelly’s ‘Green Book’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – You don’t expect gentleness and warmth from one of the Farrelly Brothers but that’s exactly what you get in Peter Farrelly’s crowd-pleasing fact-based film ‘Green Book’. Viggo Mortensen and Mahersaha Ali complement each other as … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Brady Corbet’s ‘Vox Lux’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Just as in ‘Jackie’ two years ago, Natalie Portman gives a scintillating performance of a driven and complicated woman in a not very successful picture. Director and screenwriter Brady Corbet’s ‘Vox Lux’, which tells of … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Damien Chazelle’s ‘First Man’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – From the very first image of a man in a narrow tin bucket rattling horribly and bouncing at furiously high speed off the atmosphere, Damien Chazelle’s terrific ‘First Man’ focuses on the terrifyingly claustrophobic nature … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Cold War’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Cold War’ is a masterpiece. It’s the story of two lovers whose struggle to be together evokes the complexities of life in Poland following World War II as the richness, beauty and contradictions … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Bradley Cooper’s ‘A Star Is Born’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Enjoyment of Bradley Cooper’s reimagined ‘A Star is Born’ depends almost entirely on having a taste for the singing of Lady Gaga. Her many fans will surely love it. For those less enamoured, probably not. … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Mike Leigh’s ‘Peterloo’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – British director Mike Leigh’s latest, ‘Peterloo’, is a handsome period piece about a terrible incident in British history following victory over Napoleon at Waterloo when working class protestors in a 19th century English town were cut … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Bardem, Cruz in ‘Everybody Knows’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Married Spanish Oscar-winners Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem have become a reliable partnership onscreen and their latest feature together, ‘Everybody Knows’, is a bright addition to their canon. Written and directed by Iranian filmmaker Asghar … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Passionate and provocative but also at times great fun, Spike Lee’s new film ‘BlacKkKlansman’, which opens today in the United Kingdom, tells an only slightly exaggerated true story about a black cop who infiltrated the … Continue reading

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Make stars accept awards for action-film crafts winners

By Ray Bennett LONDON – The American Motion Picture Academy has made a foolish error by introducing a condescending award for popular films. The thinking appears to be that fans of blockbuster action, super-hero and animated films will flock to … Continue reading

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